Advancing global health

Expanding access to care around the world is at the heart of what we do and is exemplified by our team members’ dedication to our purpose. It takes a targeted approach to create healthier futures, and we accomplish that through both our business and philanthropic strategies to impact as many lives as possible. Through the efforts of our health equity working group, we are weaving equity considerations throughout our business. Whether it’s through an innovative solution or working closely with our partners, we carry out our purpose every day as we work in service of our customers, their patients, and our shared communities.
A dark-skinned medical professional smiling in an outdoor rural setting with lots of green vegetation holds a medical travel cooler. Behind them a dark-skinned person smiles and wears a green and white wrapped dress.

Facilitating innovation and collaboration 

Contributing to the future of quality global care relies on curiosity and innovation. In 2022, we created AB Health Ventures, a dedicated corporate venture capital fund, now known as Cencora Ventures, to help identify entrepreneurs who are looking to revolutionize healthcare with us. By investing in innovative healthcare start-ups, we will spark new ideas, generate additional value, accelerate product development, and bring forward potential solutions that will benefit our customers. Cencora Ventures has committed to donating 10% of future realized profits to support the efforts of the Cencora Impact Foundation and its continued work to improve healthcare access globally. 

In FY23, we established a Health Equity Working Group to oversee and drive the many initiatives that are being developed and carried out at Cencora to address issues around access to healthcare. This group consists of 16 senior leaders from various roles across the organization, and they meet regularly to create strategic alignment and move this important work forward. 

To further fuel innovative ideation, our Global Products and Solutions team hosts a Community of Practice (CoP) to foster a collaborative product culture that gives team members the guidance and the tools to be part of innovation at Cencora, and provides opportunities to network and problem solve across the organization as we continue to globally integrate. The CoP has grown to more than 1,100 team members, who are invited to meet monthly to discuss products in development and share best practices.
Two adults reviewing information on a clipboard while another adult watches over six children. Behind them is a white van, a pile of supplies, and two white humanitarian canopy shelters.
Photo: International Medical Corps

Cencora Healthier Futures Grant Program

Two adults reviewing information on a clipboard while another adult watches over six children. Behind them is a white van, a pile of supplies, and two white humanitarian canopy shelters.
Photo: International Medical Corps
Additionally, the Cencora Impact Foundation launched the Cencora Healthier Futures Grant Program to identify opportunities to support those on the frontlines of healthcare in underserved populations who are driving innovation in global health. Targeted donations will support charities around the world that are advancing access to care and directly impacting communities in need. The inaugural donation was a $500,000 grant made to the UNICEF Health Fund. The fund focuses on programs and system-wide responses that aim to reduce the number of maternal and newborn deaths, provide children with immunizations, reduce malnutrition, address adolescent mental health, and combat the rise of non-communicable diseases.   
Two adults reviewing information on a clipboard while another adult watches over six children. Behind them is a white van, a pile of supplies, and two white humanitarian canopy shelters.
Photo: International Medical Corps
A dark-skinned person wearing an orange Unicef vest putting a wristband on a small dark-skinned child inside of a white canopy shelter. A third person wearing a black hijab holds the child.
A dark-skinned person wearing an orange Unicef vest putting a wristband on a small dark-skinned child inside of a white canopy shelter. A third person wearing a black hijab holds the child.
“We are grateful for support from the Cencora Impact Foundation to help UNICEF deliver large-scale, sustainable results in ensuring the health of the world’s most vulnerable children.” 

V. Renée Cutting
Chief Philanthropy Officer, UNICEF USA 
A dark-skinned person wearing an orange Unicef vest putting a wristband on a small dark-skinned child inside of a white canopy shelter. A third person wearing a black hijab holds the child.

Leading in times of health challenges 

Cencora’s purpose drives us to action during supply disruptions. We collaborate across the supply chain and work with our suppliers, industry groups, nonprofits, government agencies, and our customers to advocate for patients. We also offer programs, like Sure Supply to support health systems’ access to high-risk or sensitive items. In urgent situations, our Customer Care and Replenishment Operations team members help facilitate patient access in shortage situations in various ways, including working with suppliers for reserved inventory or helping find other pharmacies that may have the medication on hand.

We continued to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts, including serving as a network administrator for the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program to ensure our Good Neighbor Pharmacy independent pharmacy customers received access to vaccines. To date, Cencora has allocated more than 8 million COVD-19 vaccines to independent pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program across the country.  Approximately 50% of our pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program were in areas with high to moderate social vulnerability, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We participated in this program until its end in FY23. In addition, we are distributing COVID-19 vaccines to our customers across the United States as vaccine distribution moved from a centralized, government-managed process to a traditional distribution model in September.

Antimicrobial resistance

As a healthcare leader, we are continuously focused on what we may face next as a global population, such as the growing public health issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The Cencora Impact Foundation contributed to the CDC Foundation’s AMR Fund to bring together partners and make meaningful progress in addressing AMR, including improving access to vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for better prevention, treatment, and detection.
 
In FY23, the Cencora Impact Foundation donated a grant that will support an in-person roundtable of global subject matter experts, policy makers, and industry partners on AMR. This will serve as a catalyst for the creation of a new annual survey that will support global data collection on current public awareness, understanding, and attitudes of AMR and antibiotic and antifungal use. The data from this survey will help accelerate progress towards achieving the goals outlined in WHO’s Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and the U.S. National Action Plan to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. We continued to support World AMR Awareness Week, through activities in Alphega pharmacies to drive greater public awareness of the risks of AMR and promote the role of pharmacy stewardship. 
 
We also continue to advocate for vaccine equity across the world. In 2022, the Cencora Impact Foundation made an initial grant to the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign to protect marginalized communities from devastating vaccine-preventable diseases. In 2023, the Foundation increased its support to protect the health of refugees and internally displaced people globally, and to vaccinate approximately 400,000 children around the world against polio.

Our stories of purpose

Across the enterprise, our team members collaborate with each other and our partners to advance global health and save lives. Here are just a few of our stories from FY23 that show how we lived our purpose and created meaningful impact. 
A dark-skinned person holding both hands with a light-skinned person wearing scrubs and a name tag. No faces are visible.

Expanding access to quality care

A dark-skinned person holding both hands with a light-skinned person wearing scrubs and a name tag. No faces are visible.
In FY23, Cencora patient services continued its mission to create healthier futures by helping more patients access critical therapies. Leveraging new technologies, our team was able to support:

  • 1.1 million+ active patients
  • 180,000+ active providers
  • 300,000+ for Patient Assistance Program enrollment
  • 400,000+ benefits verified
A dark-skinned person holding both hands with a light-skinned person wearing scrubs and a name tag. No faces are visible.
A medical professional wearing scrubs measuring a young child’s heartbeat with a stethoscope. The child wears a pink shirt and white pants and is smiling at the medical professional.

Partnering with Healthcare Ready in times of need

A medical professional wearing scrubs measuring a young child’s heartbeat with a stethoscope. The child wears a pink shirt and white pants and is smiling at the medical professional.
Our nonprofit partner, Healthcare Ready, leverages unique relationships with government, nonprofit, and medical supply chains to build and enhance the resiliency of communities before, during, and after disasters. They work to overcome health disparities caused by disasters and disease outbreaks so that everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic or medical status, can thrive after a hazardous event. During the simultaneous pediatric respiratory surge in 2023, Cencora and the Cencora Impact Foundation enabled Healthcare Ready to provide situation reports and critical tools, such as maps by state showing pediatric bed availability, to help decision-makers, healthcare providers, and patients understand how to best navigate and access care.
A medical professional wearing scrubs measuring a young child’s heartbeat with a stethoscope. The child wears a pink shirt and white pants and is smiling at the medical professional.
A dark-skinned doctor reviewing information on a tablet device with a patient. The patient is medium-skinned and wears a white head covering.

Empowering pharmacists in the fight against breast cancer

A dark-skinned doctor reviewing information on a tablet device with a patient. The patient is medium-skinned and wears a white head covering.
More than 228 Alphega pharmacies in Spain participated in a breast cancer awareness campaign in partnership with numerous organizations to provide care items, patient and family support resources, and a special webinar in Barcelona with Kalida Center, which provides emotional, social, and practical support for cancer patients and their loved ones. Additional support enabled community pharmacists in six European countries to access the Alphega Pharmacy Oncology Support Program, which upskills pharmacists to augment the advice and support they can offer patients living with cancer.
A dark-skinned doctor reviewing information on a tablet device with a patient. The patient is medium-skinned and wears a white head covering.
Dozens of professionals sitting in a large corporate conference room watch an event speaker who is out of frame.

Overcoming supply chain disruptions through collaboration and action

Dozens of professionals sitting in a large corporate conference room watch an event speaker who is out of frame.
In 2023, when a pharmaceutical manufacturer partner’s facility in North Carolina was struck by a tornado, our team was in contact with them within the hour, assuring that their team was safe and assessing the potential impact. We also hosted Angels for Change, a volunteer-supported organization on a mission to end drug shortages, at their SummitONE conference, which connected changemakers nationwide focused on providing equal drug access to patients in need. Attendees from health systems, patient advocacy groups, manufacturers, industry groups, and distributors shared knowledge and generated new ideas at the two-day event.
Dozens of professionals sitting in a large corporate conference room watch an event speaker who is out of frame.
Two workers, one wearing a black fleece jacket and one wearing a yellow safety jacket, reviewing paperwork on a large white thermal container. It has the Cencora and World Courier logos printed on the side along with the words “VIP-Tainer”.

Evolving our operations in sync with pharmaceutical innovation

Two workers, one wearing a black fleece jacket and one wearing a yellow safety jacket, reviewing paperwork on a large white thermal container. It has the Cencora and World Courier logos printed on the side along with the words “VIP-Tainer”.
A pharmaceutical manufacturer entrusted Cencora and our dedicated World Courier team to transport a cutting-edge gene therapy from the U.S. to the UK to save the life of an infant born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a rare genetic disease that leads to the progressive loss of muscle control and weakness. Utilizing a thermal container to maintain a consistent temperature and monitoring the shipment by GPS locator around the clock, we also ensured that each piece of documentation complied with local regulations in both countries to avoid any customs-related delays as the shipment successfully made its way to the patient.
Two workers, one wearing a black fleece jacket and one wearing a yellow safety jacket, reviewing paperwork on a large white thermal container. It has the Cencora and World Courier logos printed on the side along with the words “VIP-Tainer”.
A dark-skinned worker in a warehouse packing pharmaceuticals into boxes. They wear a gray t-shirt and have their black braided  hair pulled up and wrapped over their head.

Working seamlessly across our united enterprise

A dark-skinned worker in a warehouse packing pharmaceuticals into boxes. They wear a gray t-shirt and have their black braided  hair pulled up and wrapped over their head.
Our team members from ICS, part of the Cencora portfolio of companies, recently received an emergency shipment order from a client who was seeking treatment for an 18-month-old child in critical condition. With the product stored in ICS’ Brooks, KY distribution center, ICS enlisted the help of World Courier colleagues to support delivery to Montreal, Quebec the following day. In less than six hours, the emergency shipment order had been received, the drug had been packed, and it was on a flight to Montreal, resulting in a positive outcome for the patient.
A dark-skinned worker in a warehouse packing pharmaceuticals into boxes. They wear a gray t-shirt and have their black braided  hair pulled up and wrapped over their head.
A light-skinned worker operating a forklift loading a thermal container into a truck that has the Cencora World Courier logo printed on the side.

Solving the complex challenges of global logistics

A light-skinned worker operating a forklift loading a thermal container into a truck that has the Cencora World Courier logo printed on the side.
When an Australian patient with Pompe Disease, which can cause weakness in the heart and skeletal muscles, traveling in Greece needed access to a next generation medication listed on Australia’s Life-Saving Drug program, the pharmaceutical manufacturer called our World Courier teams in Australia and Greece to transport the time and temperature-sensitive medicine to Athens. This shipment involved a complex logistics plan that required careful execution and additional paperwork and compliance with regulations in both countries. Even when delays were encountered at customs, the team worked with extraordinary commitment to ensure the patient started the infusion treatment on time. 
A light-skinned worker operating a forklift loading a thermal container into a truck that has the Cencora World Courier logo printed on the side.
“This shows not only how World Courier supports our purpose to create healthier futures, but also our commitment to maintain quality of life for patients. This is what we call a “traveling patient” shipment, which allows patients to travel on holidays around the world and still be able to receive the essential treatments they need. We are taking ‘Direct-to-Patient’ to the ultimate level.” 
 
Andrew McDonald
Country Manager, World Courier Australia

Explore more

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Corporate engagement

Four speakers with name tags sharing a stage during an event sponsored by Cencora. A person on the far right speaks into a microphone while two others on stage look at them.

The Cencora Impact Foundation

Eight Cencora employees in a warehouse packing hygiene kits for military veterans that were distributed in local communities through our Red Cross partnership.

Team member support and engagement